The virus first emerged in China early this year and has spread around the world, killing nearly 1 million people.
He referred to the virus as the “invisible enemy.” Many consider the very term “China virus” to be racist.
While Xi, being prerecorded and not there, could not rebut what Trump said, his U.N. ambassador was on site in the General Assembly chamber and responded directly while introducing the Xi video.
Xi has failed to leverage ill feelings between many European leaders and Trump, while a potential detente with Japan has stalled.
The United States and China are now “locked on a collision course that could potentially result in dangerous military conflict,” said Brookings Institution China analyst Cheng Li.